Do You Remember
By Jay Knox
Everybody was doing it in those years, or most anybody was. It was a popular trip, no matter what way we looked at it. We know we enjoyed them and went along with the rest of the folks. We mean those boat excursions to the 1,000 Islands and Alexandria Bay, which were so numerous about 50 years or so, more or less.
In another column recently we read that the BonVoyage, that old favorite lake steamer was to open this season shortly. It sent our thoughts wandering back to those joyous years, when lake excursions were gal amusement for those who loved to sail over the blue waters of Lake Ontario and the BonVoyage was one of the boats that could supply the real pleasure. But that was long ago.
Picture to yourself, you readers, when excursions on the lake were big affairs, not only to Oswegonians but to residents along the Road of Anthracite, because that railroad, the D.,L.& W. used to feature the steamboat seasons by running special trains from as far south as Binghamton three times a week to Oswego and the islands.
The stammers, of which there were several besides the "Bon," would leave for Kingston and the bay, from the dock at the foot of West Cayuga street, shortly after the arrival of the special train, which would be around 11 a.m., and large crowds would be on the docks to watch the boats depart.
The BonVoyage was a speedy craft and so were the other steamers whose names we can not recall at this time. On days when the lake was calm, the passengers took great comfort as well as pleasure, by sitting on the open decks and gazing over the broad expanse of water, while cool air wafted over them.
Besides passengers the boats always carried several tons of fruit and freight to the river resorts, the biggest portion consigned to D.D.Lang, who at that time, conducted the largest fruit and confectionary store at Alexandria Bay.
It has been years since that steamboat line has been in action, yet there are hosts of over folks besides ourselves who still think of the many joys that were ours when we used to gather on he dock to see the boats go out.
And there were many little moonlight trips, with search light effects, and Sunday excursions to Sodus, Fair Haven and to the bay, with music and dancing as extra attractions.